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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was convicted of harassment in March 2009, the complainant

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I was convicted of harassment in March 2009, the complainant made a statement the previous year in January 2008 re. this, but when she mad e it, it was already over 6 months since the last time I contacted her. My previous solicitor never mentioned at that time that there's a 6 month time limit to make a complaint. He has since left the company he was with. Can I sue his firm or the police for unlawful imprisonment or whatever ,?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

WAs this a s2 harassment?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes, it was section 2- for some reason my solicitor said it would be going to CROWN court, though I found out since that it's a summary offence only.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

It is quite surprising that nobody noticed that. There may have been negligence on the part of your solicitor but it would have to have been unnoticed also by your barrister, CPS, the Court clerk and indeed the Magistrates or Judge.

In any event, if they didn't notice that the Crown were time barred then that is something to complain about for certain.

But you are time barred and time runs from the date of the wrongful act - so the latest point would be the date of trial. That would be just in time though.

If there is any wrongful act on the part of the police then it would run from the time of the arrest - the date of their wrongful act.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

my solicitor did actually tell me the police had a 'vendetta' against me. That's about the only accurate thing he did say- but he never mentioned facts to the court. There is another slight complication- the INITIAL reason they arrested me was for something else, an unspecified charge, relating to some diaries and notebooks which they read and used the contents against me ..I think it was Public Nuiscance, but the head magistrate or judge said I technically hadn't commited it. CPS were really annoyed at this. They remanded me for 3 months then put me in a bail hostel, when I had only a legal maximum 4 days left of remand time. Sorry it's so long this, but it was very complicated. I did a 'runner' from the hostel because they were trying to find my dog another home. I was arrested the following March (was sentenced for s2 minus remand time and did just a few days in jail)

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, I guessed.

The police always arrest for the most serious offence they can find for lots of reasons.

The fact of a prosecution out of time is still obviously unlawful although you would have to show bad faith to bring a claim for malicious prosecution.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Fact is, I must mention but forgot, I didn't actually harass this woman, for some reason she asked me not to contact her again, due to misunderstanding.That was summer 2006, So I did not contact her . around a year later I decided to call at her house but a bloke said she'd moved, gave me her address and I drove there but did not call, I got cold feet. I wrote all this in my diary. When I was arrested for broken car exhaust/ no insurance January 2008, police read diaries and approached her to make statement. Soliciotr never even let me read it fully. How would I go about proving 'bad faith' - could I get a barrister on legal aid ? and should I keep on trying to contact ex-solicitor's previous firm- are they still accountable for his failures ? Thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

That isn't really bad faith. That just comes down to the level of potency with which these domestics are prosecuted at the moment. For what its worth, my own personal view is that these things are very rarely in the public interest and the whole issue of domestic abuse should be picked up and dropped down in the family court if it needs to be litigated upon at all. Mostly its not real domestic abuse but two childish people using the police to mediate their relationship issues.

However, that is not their current policy.

Its quite unlikely you are going to get legal aid for this I'm afraid.

You might be able to get a solicitor on no win no fee.

The firm is liable for the negligence of their employee but obviously you need to get this done fairly quickly or you will be time barred.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I must add, that in this case I was not in a relationship with the woman- we were 'friends' for only a few months. I do know what you mean regarding these domestic violence cases though.


RE. my case, I was put off from making any complaint for a long time because my friend's son is a police office and he even admits some of them are (unprintable word). and my friend said if I succeeded , they would follow me around waiting for the slightest reason to question me. etc.


Should I just approach any no-win solicitor in my local area- or could you recommend one ? (In either case, will they deal with it, or will they pass me onto a barrister ?) BTW, somethingof great importance, there was an article appeared online on website of the local newspaper where I was in court, it detailed something inaccurate and libellous in my opinion, it is still there - can I get them to remove it ? THAT'S MY LAST QUESTION (unless your answer really warrants another question)...Thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well,t here is that risk.

Where are you roughly in the uk?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

sorry for the delay, I am roughly nr Bradford or Leeds,

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I don't know anybody up there but both Tucker's and McCormacks have departments that sue the police.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX found their contact details- If they would pursue this matter for me , on no-win no fee basis, would I actually physically have to appear in court again. I heard not, from someone. I suffered severe paranoia after all this and was on medication for ages (GP PRESCRIBED). The thought of being in court again is not an easy one, but if I had to....

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, you probably would have to give evidence I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

at least it will be a chance to give MY side of the story, and I am not even sure she has actually CLAIMED that I harassed her, as I never read all the statement.


There is one more question, thanks for your ppatience- IF the last time I called at her house- when the man said she'd moved house- was inside the 6 month period, but she was actually INSIDE the house, and I never talked to her personally, could THIS be classified as an occasion when I have 'contacted' her.?


I could not understand why , IF this occurred. The new address seemed genuine cos it was 1/2 mile away, and unlikely someone could just pick a house number for a street off the top of their head within a second or two.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm sorry but I'm not sure what you mean?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was referring to the point I made earlier , when I called at her previous (?) house several months after she asked me not to contact her. This man answered, told me she'd moved house. But what if she had not moved and WAS inside the house- it may have been a relative this man,telling me this under her instruction. I am just wondering that IF she was inside, could that be construed as an act of harassment- ?


BTW, I just today got a reply from my ex- solicitor's previous firm, from the main partner, stating that he would not be 'bullied' by me. when all I have asked for is an acknowledment he recived my complaint. He stated the time limit was 3 years,also.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, it could be harassment.

In any event, it was an attempt to contact her that may well have been communicated to her.

Negligence claims have a 6 year limitation period.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

THANKS, XXXXX XXXXX the solicitor was lying (again). from what you said before.....


I am pretty sure though, that she HAD moved house- as I said before, this fella had it (her new address) already written down on paper, if he'd been lying and she had been in there, she could have told him to say she'd moved to a town miles away.- not 1/2 mile up the road.


Anyway, I will now follow your advice and seek a solicitor (Tuckers) etc, on no-win basis.


Just one last question- and I will rate your advice very soon, to end this, cos I have got my money's worth- could this solicitor, whom I am now emailing re his ex-partner, actually accuse me of harassing HIM..in the course of this em contact ? Thanks


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Its not likely that he is lying.

Whether she had moved or not makes no difference if there was a reasonable chance that the fact of your attendance would be passed onto her.

Yes, he could say you are harassing him but he won't. Solicitors are more stoical than that on the whole.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That's what I am trying to say- if it WAS passed on to her- which I doubt- it was at least 7 or 8 months before the statement/ complaint was made.Smile


And here is the other thing I have been wondering- maybe something they can't evade - why did they remand me for 3 months for a simple s2 harassment- I was dealt with for the driving offence within a few days..why didn't they sentence me then. I tell you why- because that, as I said earlier- was not why they remanded me initially, and the comments about going to crown court.


He may be more stoical. but may change if he thinks I am going to succeed at what I hope to do..

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I would imagine that they remanded you because they thought you would interfere with witnesses and commit further offences.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I didn't even know who the witnesses were-or at least not where they lived and I'm not that sort of person anyway. and as for the complainant, they must have known that I wouldn't bother her , otherwise I would have actually CALLED at the address the man gave me. I wouldn't have wanted to get into any more legal problems by calling to ask why she'd made a statement.. Fact is, she didn't even make the complaint til the police approached her. (ie, months later). They did seem to take at least 6-8 weeks to obtain a psychiatrist's report- I not sure if it was intentional but therewere other things like they said they lost a report once, and something else- both after transporting me 20 miles by van. and I am claustrophobic, which is not good in a van or prison.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
The fact that you didn't actually go round there doesn't mean there wasn't a risk.

The test case that said that GBH could be psychological damage rather than actual violence involved a person who was making silent calls.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well if that test case is correct, then they are guilty of GBH towards myself, due to the psychological problems I had- paranoia, anxiety. However, the fact still remains, whether or not she knew I had called at her previous address, they were outside the time limit for a prosecution. If we are talking the letter of the law here, and I am sure we are, they can't just hold a vendetta against me because of -whatever reason it was... do you think I would still stand a chance, speaking professionally ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I have to be honest and say that its not very likely that you do.

Its quite unlikely that this was time barred anyway as so many people had vision of this case and didn't notice and limitation of a summary only offence is such a basic point to be missed by so many people.

Even if it were, the Court is not going to like the fact of the delay and there is no evidence here of any bad faith anyway. Its negligence at its highest.

I'm very sorry.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm not sure if you put the wrong word in there, in the 2nd sentence, 'unlikely'- do you mean it is 'likely' that it's time barred ? [then] ... 'but' so many people had vision of the case'....etc etc etc.


Could I write to that court involved to explain and to get an explanation from the CPS as to why they never noticed ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, unlikely was what I meant.

Its very unlikely that this was time barred and nobody noticed.

You could write to CPS but they will probably not respond.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

sorry, I thought that when you said it's not time barred, I thought you were implying that I am still within the time limit to make a claim (ie, not time-barred / within the 6 year period since it occurred)..based on my understanding of 'time barred' as the legal time limit for any claim of any kind..

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, sorry I meant the original prosecution. I suspect that was not out of time I'm afraid.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70003
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

SORRY, I thought I had replied and I was watching my email inbox for a notificationage... of you rreply.


I know that the LASTtime I called (when the chap said she'd moved) was in summer 2007, I am pretty sure it was June 2007 because it was 12 months after she asked me not to call, - She made the statement in mid- January 2008. Even IF I had called in July, it's still 6 months period. The problem would be PROVING it. THEY the police, kept my diary


There was, I failed to mention, lots of inconsistences in the part of her statement I DID manage to read, eg, she described me as a 'balding man', but she never even saw me with my baseball cap off. I am 100% certain of that. cos I was self-conscious about my hair loss back then. Even if I can't getanywhere with this, I hope you can put my mind at rest and tell me , how do you think she knew this- do you think the cops falsified the statement , once they knew I was going to plead guilty (under the advice of my solicitor) ?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I am very sorry but this is becoming uneconomical so I will opt out.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Fair's fair then... I just wanted to say, obviously you can't reply but I looked back to one reply of yours and you said the cps, court officials, etc would have to have not noticed the time bar for their prosecution (legal)- but that's implying that if they'd NOTICED theyw ere out of time, that they would have not prosecuted me. I KNOW for a fact, even my solicitor said this, and also I am aware of many cases of police/ court corruption involving this, that they were DELIBERATELY ignoring the fact that they WERE out of time. All I can say is, if the police ever want ME as a witness,even for a serious crime, I will turn them down, stating this reason- that I won't be regarded as reliable or honest, and when they ask why, I will mention this case, AND the name of the D.Constable who was in charge. ANYWAY, THANKS FOR YOUR ADVICE- I CAN'T AFFORD ANY MORE FEES, AS I AM , AND HAVE BEEN, ON A BUDGET TO SAVE UP TO USE THE SAVINGS FOR TESTING OUT A BUSINESS IDEA...Money Mouth

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